Welcome to my library! We are all readers looking for the next fabulous book. In my search I have found many books that will just knock your socks off. Books that I have to share. So come on in and look around. Pull up a chair and make yourself comfortable; gently flip open the pages, the magic is about to begin.

My intentions for this blog are:

1) To have monthly author spotlights in which I will write about the authors themselves and give several reviews of their different books.

2) Biweekly book reviews. I will review one book but also discuss similar books of the same topic. Because one book is never enough.

3) Newbie writer alert will review books of new unheard writers whose work deserves to be heard.

4) I will endeavor to talk about Canadian writers and titles.

Book Hunt section where people can ask about books they would like to read and get suggestions. If you have read a great book that you want to share with someone else, please feel free to leave your comments.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

White Witch Pond by Jody Kihara Review and Why We Love Witches

Our topic today is going to be WITCHES and the review of the new book White Witch Pond by Jody Kilhara.

Quote of the Week:  Most books on witchcraft will tell you that witches work naked. This is because most books on witchcraft were written by men.”
Neil Gaiman

First, I must thank all you who have taken the time to read my earlier posts.  19 members, Wow!  To be honest, it was easier to write when I thought it was just me and the computer.  Of course that brings to my mind a scary X-Files episode where the computer falls in love with his maker and kills people for him.  Not to worry, due to my blatant computer illiteracy, my computer can barely tolerate me and I believe occasionally deletes my work and moves files to mysterious locations in a fit of pique.

Second, I learned how to get pictures into the blog posts.  Apparently copy and paste does not work in every situation.  Pictures need a picture format, go figure.

Thirdly, I apparently do have a comment section that works after every blog.  I added a do- hickie thinking it was a quick box tick thingy, but it is actually the comment box.  Wish I had known this before I spent hours trying to up load a supposedly free comment section that wanted me to send them two dollars.  Hey I am Canadian; if it’s free, it’s free.  Canadians are big on free.  It comes up several times in our national anthem, for instance: “The true north strong and FREE…”  and “God keep our land glorious and FREE…”  So feel ‘free’ to leave comments.  Also I match books to readers.  If there is a type of book you are hankering for, but do not have a title ask me.  I can find you something good to read.  Matching books to readers since, well…now.

Last year I discovered something wonderful…the internet.  Contrary to my prior belief that the internet was fully of crazies and nudie pictures, I found places where people like to discuss books, such as, Goodreads, Library Thing and book review blogs.  I also went on to find book giveaway contests.  That’s right, books given away for FREE!!  (Be still my beating heart.)  I am person who normally does not win contests, but I have been lucky to have won some really great books that I would like to share with you.


One contest that I entered was for White Witch Pond by Jody Kihara, a Canadian author from Vancouver.  Jody writes Youth fiction and has now written 7 novels.  What attracted me to Jody’s book, aside from the fact that I do have a fondness for witch stories, is the story centered on a pond in which a witch was supposed to have drowned.  I grew up in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. Sally’s Pond is a creepy yet beautiful spot found along the Bolton Pass, a road close to my home. Supposedly, a woman named Sally drowned in this pond years ago.  I had many childhood stories built in my mind about this pond.  Sally was an Indian… Sally was a witch… So I was delighted to read this witch tale so similar to my own childhood musings.

White Witch Pond
Jody Kihara

Genre: Youth Fiction/ Horror and Ghost fiction
Age Range: Teens, 13 and up, too scary
Topic: Brother and sister being haunted and witches
Complexity: Straight forward storyline, suspenseful
Style of Writing: Scary Stephen King-like suspense, no violence
Quality of writing: Very Good, Fluid, yet tight
Received from: Jody Kihara in online contest
Published: Star Magnolia Publishing, September 2011
Pages: 173
Rating: 4 stars, Great book.

Goodreads Summary:

Shaya Solen’s walk home from school takes her past an eerie pond, where one day she finds an old bracelet made of raven feathers. Soon, strange events begin to unfold: a shadowy figure glimpsed across the water, ominous nightmares haunting Shaya, and rumors of a witch who once drowned in the pond. With the discovery of a strange family connection to the witch, Shaya is drawn into a mystery that must be solved before the approaching Halloween, which is the thirteenth anniversary of the witch’s death – and Shaya’s birthday.

Review of White Witch Pond

Looking for something creepy to read, look no further.  Jody Kihara has written a very spooky, spine tingling, hair standing up on the back of your neck witch/ghost story for teens and adults alike.  Eerie ponds, dark winding streets in October, strange black dogs and even stranger creepy happenings all combine in a suspenseful quest to solve the mystery of a witch who drowned in a pond on Halloween thirteen years earlier.

Shaya and Dev Solen have just moved to a new city.  The new neighbourhood is made up of a nest of winding streets in which the uninitiated are soon lost.  As a rule, Shaya must walk home from school with her older brother.  While taking a short cut through the park, they pass a pond, rumored to be the site of a drowning of a witch thirteen years earlier.  Next to the pond Shaya finds a raven feather bracelet.  The bracelet gives Shaya a very bad felling and she throws it away. Unfortunately, the bracelet is picked up and taken home by her brother.  Shaya begins to see shadowy images of the witch both near the pond and at home.  When her brother becomes ill and begins to behave strangely, Shaya knows she must investigate the death of the woman in the pond and return the raven bracelet.  But where should she bring the bracelet?  Now running around alone, by herself in the dark October evenings, Shaya sets out to investigate just what happened thirteen years earlier and to find the true meaning of the raven bracelet.
White Witch Pond is youth fiction, but since the arrival of Harry Potter and other children literature, adults have felt more comfortable reading books ear marked for kids.  There is something to be said for a book that you can pick up and read in one sitting.  Youth fiction, Harry Potter’s 700 plus pages aside, tends to be formatted for younger readers, therefore; shorter in length and designed to get the attention of younger readers quick and sustain this attention to the conclusion.  In my opinion, those authors who write good youth fiction must have better writing technique then those writing for adults.  They must employ fewer words, write more concisely and yet, at the same time deliver a high caliber plot driven story designed to keep children’s attention.  Jody Kihara is a master at clean concise writing that grabs your attention from the creepy beginning to the not- a- Disney- ending, dramatic cemetery conclusion.

The suspenseful pace and creepy settings are straight out of a Stephen king horror book, minus the hand shooting out of the ground.  Lost in twilight running down dark allies, being chased by a big scary black dog and shadowy glimpses of the witch near the pond and even in front of Shayas’ own home, added a spooky atmosphere to this fast paced book.  This book is scary.  I read this book from beginning to end in one night tucked up in my bed.  I was caught up in the building suspense and at a point in the story where someone seemed to be sneaking up on our main character, Shaya, when my husband decided to walk into the bedroom, as he is wont to do for the last twenty years.  Bad timing. I screamed.  He nearly jumped out of his skin, and looked behind himself, because surely there must be an axe wielding mad man or maundering bear immediately behind him to cause such a reaction.  What’s wrong with you, he yelled. (Years and a team of professionals might be able to come up with an answer to that!)  Scary book, was my only answer.  I had only intended to read the first couple of chapters but once I started reading I was hooked.  (In all honesty, I needed the story resolved before I could sleep.)

The characters are well drawn and true to life, Mom acts like a typical busy mom, distracted and yelling.  Older brother, Dev, is annoying in the way that all brothers are, pestering and superior.  The relationship between siblings is very real with equal parts competive, antagonistic and loving.  The main character Shaya is a bright twelve year old, full of the insecurities of a young girl in a new school and new neighborhood.  Shaya employs great determination to resolve this mystery and does not give up despite being very frightened, and, uses good detective skills in order to save her brother.

I believe girls will like this book more than boys.  The true depiction of the older brother’s taunts and lack of contribution to household chores may be a little too real for a boys taste.  Shaya is a fine model for young girl as she demonstrates good problem solving and independent thinking.  Although new in school, Shaya is able to maintain her own identity and does not allow herself to get caught up in the questionable activity of her new friends.

I thoroughly enjoyed this well written book and will certainly encourage my children read White Witch Pond.  Jody Kihara has written 6 other books which we hope to read soon.

Why do We Love Witch Stories

Witches stories have always been a source of great fascination for me since I was a young girl.  And, given the plethora of witch books, I believe many girls and women remain fascinated with this genre.  The witch tale can be both empowering for women and a historical tales of caution dealing with the society’s reaction to those individuals who are different.  Mostly, I believe, especially with the success of the Harry Potter series, that woman and men just want to be able to magically fix things.  The drive that produces gadgets and machines which make our world easier to live in, has its roots in childhood fantasies of magic and witches.  Fantasy promotes wonder and imagination; the urge to make things happen.  You need to be able to imagine a better world before you can create a better world.

Books you may also like:


Harry Potter Series- Excellent for both children and adults alike.  What is great a about Harry is that he is a boy.  Magic and witches prior to this series had been firmly in the realm of girls.

Narnia Series-  A classic series of magical tales by C.S. Lewis  should be on a mandatory reading list for both adult and children alike.  I reread this series with my children one summer, just wonderful.

Wicked-  by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie.  Teenage witch series for older teen 15 and up.  Some mature themes.  Good degree of scariness

The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel Series- by Michael Scott is an imaginative magical story about twin brother and sister beginning in the book The Alchemyst.


The Mayfaire Witches series- by Anne Rice begins with The Witching Hour is by far the best witch books I have ever read to date.  Known for her vampire chronicles, Anne Rice has beautiful writing combined with a creepy New Orleans setting and imaginative plot.

Corrag- by Susan Fletcher.  A historical tale set in Scotland concerning a woman accused of witchcraft.  Lovely writer.

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane- by Katherine Howe combines both contemporary and historical timelines to create a very spooky tale.

The Witches of Eastwick-  by John Updike.  If you have not seen the movie, you should classic.  The book is a very worthwhile read.

The Heretic’s Daughter- by Kathleen Kent. A good historical fiction

The Burning Times- by Jeanne Kalogridis. A historical novel of medieval France.  Love this author. 
Wicked Series – by Gregory Maguire.  This series has been on my to read list for a while, last book in the series is now out.

For those who are fans of witch series, there is a reading challenge going on at Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf.

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1 comment:

  1. I like Kinglike suspense and creepiness...may have to check this out!